Articles by Markus Weinberger
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About a year ago, the Bosch IoT Lab at the University of St. Gallen has been officially opened. We had an exciting year building our team and starting projects that are relevant for both, Bosch and the university. During the first months the projects iterated frequently, really living an explorative approach. Meanwhile, we reached a more stable status. In the following video Prof. Elgar Fleisch, Chair of the Bosch Lab, briefly introduces our lab team and the topics we are working on.
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Suitable business models will play an important role when it comes to leveraging the opportunities of the Internet of Things. But what exactly is a business model? My colleagues here at the University of St. Gallen (HSG) came up with a pretty simple definition. They call it the magic triangle. Answering the four questions gives a brief idea of how the business of a company works.
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Well, there are many good reasons to cooperate with a well-respected institution like the University of St. Gallen. After leading the Bosch IoT Lab for nine months, there is one aspect making me confident that we founded our lab at the right place.
The Bosch IoT Lab is a part of the Chair of Prof. Elgar Fleisch at the Institute of Technology Management. Prof. Fleisch recognized the importance of combining academia and business when it comes to creating new business models.
Today, his chair is home to a number of labs and working groups with exciting topics. It is this inspiring environment for a vivid topic such as the Internet of Things (IoT) that thrills me everyday. I´ll give you a few examples.
The Bits to Energy Lab is a joint research initiative of ETH Zurich, the University of Bamberg, and the University of St. Gallen. It combines information technology and behavioral sciences to promote sustainable energy consumption. Amphiro provides consumers with feedback on their water and energy consumption in the shower and thus induces energy savings.
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Every now and then there is a new debate about privacy issues in an internet context. I recently had an interesting conversation with Tobias Kowatsch. He is a senior researcher at the Institute of Technology Management at the University of St. Gallen and he published a paper* regarding privacy in the context of the Internet of Things and Services (IoT).
Tobias, are there differences regarding privacy in the Internet of Things compared to other information systems?
In general, the underlying “contract” for many well known internet applications is: give up a little of your privacy, and you get worthwhile information. Privacy and security topics have been addressed extensively by information systems research. But to my knowledge, up to now there are no publications focusing on specific aspects of IoT services. These are significantly different from other IT-related applications in traditional office or home situations. That is due to their ubiquitous and embedded characteristics that pervade everyday life. Thus, privacy concerns due to unobtrusive data collection methods are more critical for this class of applications. Therefore, it is very important to better understand usage patterns and perceptions from an end-user perspective.
So, you conducted a study to approach the topic. What exactly did you do?
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The video trailer was shot during the opening ceremony of the lab on September 13, 2012. Enjoy the atmosphere of that great day. You will see that we have perfect prerequisites in terms of location and work environment. The lab team is highly motivated and eager to leverage this unique setting. The trailer features the team and first project ideas.
Do you have questions, ideas for projects or cooperations, comments? I´d love to hear from you.
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The Bosch IoT Lab at University St. Gallen, Switzerland, took off! The Lab is a cooperation between Bosch Software Innovations GmbH and the Institute for Technology Management (ITEM-HSG) at the University of St. Gallen. Currently we are a team of seven – university and Bosch employees – working on topics related to connected mobility and smart home. On September 13, 2012 we held our official opening ceremony.
Many guests from Bosch, the University of St. Gallen and politics made use of the opportunity to discuss the changes the internet of things will induce. And I really had the feeling that all participants had good conversations and made interesting new contacts.
A number of speeches addressed the role of the internet of things and of our new lab from different perspectives.